The Angel of a Madman, by Ricky Dragoni

At its core, Angel of a Madman is a touching story about how helping someone else, even when you’re having your own problems, can help you as well. Maybe not in the way you want or expected, but in the way you need.

After escaping a maximum security facility, Bracket finds himself in the care of Gabriel, a young man with problems of his own. As he digs deeper into Bracket’s past, second chances become all important…especially since he won’t get one.

This novel alternated between Bracket and Gabriel with a lot of overlap. The story would be told so far through Bracket’s POV, then switched to Gabriel’s. However, each POV covered everything that already happened, just from the other perspective. There wasn’t too much information contained within that the reader couldn’t have done without, so really it felt like reading the same thing again and again. Dialogue was also awkward and clunky. Really formal in a lot of places—to the point where the characters sounded the same and blended together.

With an explosive beginning and a good ending, the middle of the novel was one big lull. We got to know the characters, but things didn’t really start picking up until about the last quarter. Once that ball got rolling though, it didn’t stop. The ending was sad, and appropriate I think. Especially given the backgrounds and motivations of characters. The author did well to hide some of the backstory until it was necessary, which kept the reader interested and asking questions.

There’s still some polishing that could be done for the overall writing that I think would improve the story. Sometimes the style just didn’t fit the tone of the narrative. It pulled away from the emotions that it was supposed to be evoking in the reader. It was still a touching tale, however. The plot was a compelling one. Still a relatively enjoyable read overall.

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